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Idiopathic Ophthalmodynia and Idiopathic Rhinalgia: Two Topographic Facial Pain Syndromes

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(Headache 2010;50:1286-1295) Objective.—

To describe 2 topographic facial pain conditions with the pain clearly localized in the eye (idiopathic ophthalmodynia) or in the nose (idiopathic rhinalgia), and to propose their distinction from persistent idiopathic facial pain. Background.—

Persistent idiopathic facial pain, burning mouth syndrome, atypical odontalgia, and facial arthromyalgia are idiopathic facial pain syndromes that have been separated according to topographical criteria. Still, some other facial pain syndromes might have been veiled under the broad term of persistent idiopathic facial pain. Methods.—

Through a 10-year period we have studied all patients referred to our neurological clinic because of facial pain of unknown etiology that might deviate from all well-characterized facial pain syndromes. Results.—

In a group of patients we have identified 2 consistent clinical pictures with pain precisely located either in the eye (n = 11) or in the nose (n = 7). Clinical features resembled those of other localized idiopathic facial syndromes, the key differences relying on the topographic distribution of the pain. Conclusions.—

Both idiopathic ophthalmodynia and idiopathic rhinalgia seem specific pain syndromes with a distinctive location, and may deserve a nosologic status just as other focal pain syndromes of the face. Whether all such focal syndromes are topographic variants of persistent idiopathic facial pain or independent disorders remains a controversial issue.
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Keywords: atypical odontalgia; burning mouth syndrome; idiopathic ophthalmodynia; idiopathic orofacial pain; idiopathic rhinalgia; persistent idiopathic facial pain

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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